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All photos taken with my cell phone)
Weirdwater is a term of endearment I gave to Shearwater when I first arrived. It is a ‘Hooterville’ sort of outpost manned by unique characters, aberrant personalities and general misfits. I am one of them. I make no apologies for clinging to my individuality. After a few days in a large city I’ve affirmed my refusal to join the vast ranks of the faceless and mindless. As my hero Billy Connolly says, “Feckin’ beigists!”
Despite being involved with hurtling endeavours most of my life, I still have a fascination with the speed we creatures nonchalantly get around on our planet. Yesterday I started out within the nest of a few million people. It took me less than an hour and a half to cover the congested miles from North Vancouver to the airport terminal. There is no way anyone in a car could cover that distance within a multiple of the time and cost. I sat at the very front of the Canada Line Skytrain as we hurtled between stations. Two ladies in the seat behind spoke in loud Arabic. A wonderful language to listen to, both musical and staccato. It sounds as if that language is spoken from the back of the mouth, instead of the front as English is spoken. I need to develop a better grasp of my mother tongue before worrying about anyone else’s. At least today I write without the brain-addling effects of residual hospital medications and the resultant poor grammar. Within the muddle that Vancouver has become, as it morphs into a world-class city, I think it is wonderful to realize the richness of ethnic diversity and how that enhances our collective Canadian identity.
Oddly, contemplating communications, the night before I watched a splendid new movie called ‘Arrival.’ It was largely about learning how to find a common working language with aliens who had dropped in to help us resolve our global issues. No graphic violence or sex but very absorbing and thought-provoking. It was well done and kept me awake, (which may be due in part to a defective theatre furnace.) So now that I’ve survived the adventure of a hospital visit, fondled fresh produce yesterday on Lonsdale Street, watched a movie and savoured various ethnic cuisines I’m back to the blunt reality of being back here and living within parameters that are presently frozen hard. Despite the warnings of global warming it seems we are in the grasp of an advancing ice age.
My flight home was put on a reduced schedule because of a dire weather warning. After a treatment in the deicing station we ascended into the encroaching blizzard and flew north with the front tickling up under the edges of our kilt. We landed in Port Hardy in weather conditions that were on the edge then raced on up the coast with a brisk tailwind. The good old boy up front threw his IFR book out and dove underneath the clag to slap us safely down at Bella Bella in record time. This old pilot always loved flying low and fast. I enjoyed the ride thoroughly and wouldn’t have done a thing differently. (high praise indeed!)
Now here I sit in old ‘Seafire’ trying to stay warm. The forecast is for a long spell of cold weather with temperatures about fifteen degrees below normal. A massive Arctic high is parked in the middle of the continent and outflow winds all the way from Saskatchewan whistle through the rigging. The water supply is frozen, the cabin is sixty degrees inside with a forecast of descending temperatures over the next several days. The dock pops and squeaks in the cold. Well I have complained incessantly about the eternal rain! BBBBugga! Be careful what you wish for.
“ You haven’t seen a tree until you’ve seen its shadow from the sky.” — Amelia Earhart